Liverpool – Chelsea Capital One Cup Semi-final Preview
Liverpool will Chelsea in the first leg of the first Capital One Cup semi finals at Anfield, with a place in the Wembley final at stake against either Tottenham or Sheffield United. Both teams come into this match high on confidence, with Liverpool having won 6 and lost none of their last 8 matches in all competitions and Chelsea having just trounced Swansea by 5 goals to nil at the weekend. Both Liverpool and Chelsea are not underestimating the importance of this match and will put a strong team out for both legs so fatigue could play a part before the return leg next week in Stamford Bridge. Of late, Chelsea have had a good record against Liverpool, having won their last 2 trips to Anfield and will be favourites to knock Liverpool out, but the reds should have enough to take the tie to the wire.
Brendan Rodgers will continue in the 3-4-3 formation with which he has started to have some success recently and Raheem Sterling should move back into a central position up front with an increasingly efficient Markovic on one side and Coutinho on th eother. Captain Steven Gerrard, who rested in the the win at Aston Villa at the weekend, is expected to return alongside Henderson and Lucas.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Didier Drogba missed the win over Swansea with a groin injury and illness, respectively, but both could be in with a chance of playing here with Jose Mourinho who will field a strong, familiar looking line up with Kurt Zouma still in for Gary Cahill.
Our probable Formations:
Liverpool (3.4.3) Mignolet, Cann, Skrtel, Sakho, Henderson, Gerrard, Lucas, Moreno, Markovic, Sterling and Coutinho.
Chelsea (18.104.22.168) Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Zouma, Luis, Matic, Fabregas. Willian, Oscar, Hazard and Costa.
Some Hot Tips:
Liverpool are appearing in a record 15th League Cup Semi-Final.
Liverpool hold the competition record for final appearances (11) and final wins (8).
Liverpool have never lost a League Cup Semi-Final at Anfield, winning 8 and drawing 6 of 14 games played at the ground, and have never failed to score.
The Reds last Semi-Final saw them defeat Manchester City over two legs in 2012 on their way to lifting trophy
Liverpool have progressed four times in a row to the Final from this stage.
Liverpool have won their last 4 League Cup Semi-Finals and 10 of the last 12.
Liverpool and Chelase have met 5 times previously in the League Cup with Liverpool winning 3 and Chelsea 2.
Chelsea have won on their last 2 visits to Anfield. They have never won 3 in a row in their history.
This is Chelsea’s 12th League Cup Semi-Final and they are hoping to reach their 7th Final. They have lifted the trophy on 4 occasions, in 1965, 1998, 2005 and 2007.
Jose Mourinho has faced Liverpool 19 times as a manager in his career, winning 10 and losing 5.